Stepping off the fast fashion treadmill

Posted on: April 12, 2024

Fast fashion – mass-produced clothing sold at throwaway prices – has become one of Australia’s biggest environmental problems.

According to Clean Up Australia, the average Australian buys 56 items of clothing each year, mainly made from non-sustainable, non-durable materials. But despite overflowing wardrobes, only about 40% of clothes get worn

Find out how you can shop more sustainably with these easy, fun and affordable tips.

Shop your wardrobe
Before you hit the shops, make a date with your wardrobe – who knows what hidden gems you might find!

Why not make a date with your wardrobe this weekend – the most sustainable outfit is the one you already own!

Love it or leave it
Make a point of only buying clothing that you really love. If it fits perfectly and makes you to feel great, there’s a much higher chance that it’ll get regular wear over a longer period.

You’ll also be less likely to spend time and money looking for something better.

Give pre-loved a go
Your local second-hand store is a treasure trove of pre-loved items that deserve another go.

If you love to shop this is a far better way to do it. You’ll be keeping items out of landfill for longer, reducing demand for new items, and it’s easy on the budget.

Swap up
Clothing swaps are a great way to refresh your wardrobe and make new connections in your community.

Find out to organise your own clothes swap event.    

Some governments also organise these events, so check out your local council’s events page.

Get back to nature
Check those tags! Natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, bamboo, silk and hemp, will naturally breakdown over time and can be composted, unlike synthetic fabrics.

They feel lovely against the skin too!

Choose quality over quantity
High-quality garments are made from durable materials that last longer, requiring less frequent replacement. This means fewer clothes being produced, with less waste ending up in landfill.

They’re also more likely to be responsibly sourced and ethically produced too.

Get on your upcycle
If you’ve heard the phrase ‘turning trash into treasure,’ that’s upcycling in a nutshell – taking something old, destined for landfill – and turning it into something new.

By learning some simple tips and techniques for upcycling clothes, you can breathe new life into the garments you already own – at a low cost to you and the environment.

Meet Beck Rickard, a Ballardong Whadjuk woman from the Nyungar Nation. She runs Deadly Denim, a sustainable fashion label that uses second hand clothing and textiles to up-cycle jackets by adding indigenous prints. 

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